Waking Times “To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.” -Henry David Thoreau
Behold, I am the world’s first Self-inflicted Philosopher and I’m here to tell you: You’ll reap no evolution if you don’t sow a little revolution.
The current existential interregnum is a collision of conscience, the ushering in of an eco-conscious romantic instrumentalism and an antidote to modern drift. Your task, if you would be free thinkers, is to balance the deconstructive with the regenerative, to apply your intellect like an acid to any and all debilitating belief structures and unsustainable systems, while also employing a playful imagination in order to contemplate and construct new ideals and new systems that both enliven the spirit and respect the environment. Do not doubt your value to society as thinkers. Dissolve the distinction between Philosopher and Artist, between Thinker and Aesthetic. You –we– are both. Create atmospheres of thought that envelope other philosopher-artists; places to learn, unlearn, and then relearn: a super-massive cloud of revolutionary thought that launches ideas into the world like lightning bolts. Your longing for intellectual autonomy is both a shared opinion and an opinion that needs to be shared.
I beseech you, young radicals, autonomous intellectuals, freemen, freewomen, freethinkers, you who would dare to stretch comfort zones, shatter mental paradigms and flatten boxes others cannot seem to think outside of, paint the world with your hard-earned pain, run down the hard path toward your own liberated intellect. Create from the depths of your primordial jouissance. Don’t seek secure footing. Tear up the ground beneath your feet, and then plant seeds. Keep moving. Repeat. Show us the ecstasy and the agony of your pursuit of truth. Art is your vehicle. Poetry is your power. Subsume Emerson’s 1884 essay “The Poet”: the “true poet who stands among partial man for the complete man, who traverses the whole scale of experiences, and is representative of man, in virtue of being the largest power to receive and to impart.” The vision of a new humanity is in our hands. It is our duty to address, undress, distress and then de-stress the soul of man. As the prolific street artist Banksy tagged, “Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.”